8 Min Read

Do Hard Things

Published on

July 25, 2022

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. — James 1:2–4 [NKJV]

James 1:3–4 [Aspire to Maguire Version]

Hardships/Hard Times Create Strong (Wo)Men

The advent and increasing permeance of “woke ideologies” have magnified the pursuit of happiness and pleasure/self-indulgence at the expense of responsibility and pragmatism, tending towards hedonism. Hedonism, as defined in philosophy, is the ethical theory/family of theories that opine that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life. It is the belief that pleasure, or the absence of pain, is the most crucial principle in decision-making or determining the morality/suitability of a potential course of action. Psychological or motivational hedonism claims that human behaviour is determined by desires to increase pleasure and decrease pain. In other words, a hedonist is one who tries to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. This system of thinking elevates “what I want/ what makes me feel good” over and above what may be needful/responsible but painful. This belief system has seen the increasing rejection of crooked and narrow paths owing to their seeming difficulty (and apparent pain) for the allures of a “soft life” filled with soft targets.

When having conversations where this belief system rears its ugly head, I often ask the question: If all you get is what you want, how you want it, and when you want it, what kind of person would you become over time?

The nice-sounding answer is that such a person remains like a child, doing childish things, ill-prepared for the realities/practicalities of life. Interestingly enough, this lifestyle is fondly, and perhaps accurately termed, the baby boy/baby girl life (and this has been juxtaposed with the idea that “Adulthood na Scam”). We can describe childishness in three verses.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; — Ephesians 4:14

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people, but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now, you are not yet able; — 1 Corinthians 3:1–2

Children are tossed here and there by waves of desires at different times in different seasons. Childish persons are dominated by selfishness and are often seen to throw tantrums when they don’t get what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. We see the carnal mind described in the not-so-nice-sounding definition of the state of persons exhibiting childishness is Slave.

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all. — Galatians 4:1

This is key! On the surface, it may seem harmless to desire the baby boy/girl life, but it would be wise to be careful of the person one becomes while pursuing such a life. One of the critical things we glean from the lives of key characters in scripture is that it was often through seasons of hard things that they built discipline, skills, capacity and strength to reach the height of their lives and expression. Conversely, we also glean that it was from a place of ease and comfort, a type and shadow of the baby boy/girl lifestyle, that they were most prone to errors and grievous deviations from the life they had been called to live. Memorable examples include Samson, Saul, David, Solomon, and Uzziah, among others.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him. — Proverbs 22:15

A way out of the foolishness of childishness is discipline, a yoke, and the actual baby boy/girl life of rest and ease exists under “said yoke”. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth (Lamentations 3:27).

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. — Matthew 11:29

One of the crucial things about doing hard things is what you learn in the process and how it builds character, capacity and skills. The testing of your faith produces patience; the taking of a yoke leads to learning, etc. That being said, doing hard things for the mere sake of “doings” without any learning is akin to running circles; there is little to be gained from such frivolous activity.

The pursuit of Happiness/pleasure/self-indulgence, to the avoidance of struggles and trials, without doubt, leads to stunted growth in any area of life where this system of thinking is adopted. And while it could be scary to embrace such hard things/challenges, be comforted and of good cheer! Also, keep your eye on our perfect example and the prize.

In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. — John 16:33b

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. — Psalm 23:4

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. — Hebrews 12:2

As we begin the week in earnest, I leave you with this simple charge; Do Hard Things.

Itoro Nehemiah


Listen to push buttons

Don’t want to read you can also listen to our push buttons on